Sunday, January 22, 2012

No Help

I was waiting for the bus to take me to a party for people who had worked on a particular church play. I saw approach a woman with groceries, and I figured her to be too attractive and too affluent to be waiting for the bus. I waited and waited for her to move on after some interval for rest or whatever else. She never left, and it eventually became obvious that in spite of all evidence to the contrary, she was there to get on the bus.

Of course I didn't do the bold thing and make an attempt, but I do often feel a kind of paternal impulse with some people who are waiting for the bus. I do pretty well with cell phone apps and other means of navigating the often bewildering public transportation system, and so I am always glad to relieve those around me of worry if they are stressed out by the mystery of where the bus is. This seemed as if it might be one of those times.

A bus came that seemed as if it might be the one stopping where we were, but it turned out not to be. This aggrieved the lady, and I myself was disappointed, though I knew it would be coming. I was not sure what she knew. I saw no sense in saying anything before I saw it, but then there it was down the street. I sought to put her mind (and the minds of others not quite beautiful enough to really draw my attention) at ease.

"Here we are" I said in a confidence voice still laden with the frustrations of the commuter. There was no evidence that she heard me or that anyone was relieved by the statement. Alarmed was a jogger passing by at just that moment, turning his head back to see if some kind of persecutor or attacker was about to seize on him. Were I in his shoes, I probably would have kept going rather than slowing down. In any case, the bus came and my efforts were of no matter.

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